It was always coming. The internet, which has long undermined certain aspects of traditional business (while opening avenues to newer, more innovative companies), looks set to come under unprecedented attack in 2012 as older, ageing corporations hook up with governments around the world to try to take control of the online world. The only question, arguably, is whether or not their plan will work.
Let’s start with some evidence. In the US, there’s the passage of bills such as SOPA, designed to protect the rights of copyright-holders. Similar bills are being pushed in other countries. In Spain, for example, a similar law is expected to come into force. Similar laws have been, or are being, pushed in many other countries, including France, the UK, Italy and Australia. The underlying pattern is the same: copyright is being used as an excuse to establish an unbalanced power structure.
Supporters of these laws argue that the owners of copyrights have every right to have their intellectual property protected. And this is true. But there are already serious allegations about companies improperly using their new powers, and there are clear signs that those targeted by corporations in this manner have little option but to roll over and die. Trigger-happy companies are showing signs of being unable to make decisions based on anything other than greed.